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LATEST FROM OUR BLOG

Thank You Letter Template for Business Donors

Thank You Letter Template for Business Donors

Create genuine and effective thank-you letters for business donors to your school fundraisers. Use this template from FutureFund to get started, then send it out using our platform’s built-in messaging system.

How to Re-Engage Legacy Donors For Your PTA

How to Re-Engage Legacy Donors For Your PTA

Re-establish connection, maintain engagement, and more with this practical guide for re-engaging legacy donors for your PTa. Our team at FutureFund is here to help you understand the value of connecting with past donors and continuing those relationships.

Published on June 6, 2024

Anatomy of a Successful School Fundraiser

What do successful fundraisers have in common? Find out here as FutureFund breaks down the anatomy of a fundraising campaign that works. Learn what elements to include in your campaign so that you can meet your school group’s goals.
Group of individuals huddled around a poster board at a school fundraiser

Summary

  • Successful school fundraisers present the right information to potential donors in clear and compelling ways.
  • Every school fundraising campaign should have an online page with an effective name and description including details like what funds are being raised for, who will benefit, why it matters, and why fundraising is the best way to pay for it.
  • Additional elements that encourage donors to participate include visuals like images and video, accessibility features, and donation features like suggested amounts and options.
  • FutureFund helps you create beautiful and effective donation campaigns for free. You can also promote your campaigns with shareable links and a built-in messaging system.

Start Your Fundraiser With FutureFund

FutureFund is FREE for schools, PTAs, and school groups. Start your fundraiser today!

Get Started

What’s the difference between a fundraiser that reaches its goal and one that doesn’t?

Many factors go into creating successful fundraising campaigns, but nearly all of them are aimed at the same goal: to paint a compelling picture for potential donors that motivates them to contribute.

FutureFund is here to help you paint that picture. Our school fundraising platform makes it easy to create campaigns with all the required elements for success—from the right name and description to an intuitive layout, supporting media, donation features, and more.

Read on for the anatomy of a successful school fundraising campaign.

Names of different campaigns in online store created with FutureFund

Giving Your Campaign the Right Name

The name of your campaign is often the first thing potential donors will see in your online store—so it needs to engage them and communicate essential information at a glance. Here’s a checklist of elements you should consider including in the name of your next campaign:

  • The name of your school
  • What you are raising money for
  • Who the project will benefit

Let’s say you’re raising money for an outdoor education field trip for 4th-grade students at Beaumont Elementary. An example would be:

“4th Grade Outdoor Ed Field Trip at Beaumont”

Note that the more specific details (like who will benefit and what the fundraiser is for) come first here. The name of the school comes at the end, since this will probably appear in most of your school’s fundraisers—placing it at the end avoids confusion for potential donors by making sure they don’t see a wall of campaigns that all start with “Beaumont”.

It’s also helpful to call out the type of fundraiser you’re running, especially if the fundraiser is a particularly fun or engaging event. For example, fun runs and read-a-thons often get people excited, especially if their friend or family member is participating.

Creating a Compelling Campaign Description

The next part of your campaign that people will pay attention to is the description. It can be hard to know what to include in your descriptions—you want to give enough information that people understand the value of the project, but not so much that you confuse or overwhelm them.

We recommend using a few simple guidelines to keep your descriptions focused and organized. These are called the “4 Ws”.

The “4 Ws” of Fundraising Campaigns

What is the program?

Simply state what the campaign is raising money to support. Example: “We’re fundraising for Outdoor Ed at Beaumont.”

Who is the program for?

Tell potential donors who benefits from the project or cause that you’re funding. Example: “Fourth-grade students are eligible to attend.”

Why is this important?

Demonstrate the value of the cause or project funds are being raised for, and show how people benefit. Example: “This is an important experience where students will learn about our state’s history, pan for gold, and camp in an outdoor setting.”

Why are you asking for donations?

Explain why fundraising is the best or only way to support the cause or make the project happen. Example: “We are asking for donations as this program does not receive any state or district funding.”

Using AI Magic for Efficient Descriptions

Putting the above together in a way that’s both concise and engaging can still be tough, so FutureFund offers AI-assisted writing for campaign descriptions. This can help you draft effective descriptions, which can then be edited to match the style and culture of your unique school group.

Here’s an example of a simple campaign description written by hand for the example fundraiser we described earlier:

Simple manual description for FutureFund campaign

And here’s a description for the same campaign after using our AI Magic tool to enhance it:

Description for FutureFund school fundraising campaign created with AI Magic tool

Using these tools can save hours when creating your campaign and help you launch it with more confidence.

Learn More: How to Run a Fundraising Campaign

Infographic showing anatomy of a school fundraiser created with FutureFund

Presenting Your Campaign

Having the right information on your campaign page is only half the battle—you also need to arrange it in a way that’s easy for potential donors to consume and understand.

Hosting your campaign on the right platform can go a long way towards achieving this. For example, FutureFund campaigns are designed to present all campaign information in a user-friendly way by default. You’ll see that even the most basic version of our example campaign still puts the essentials (name, description, donation area) together in an inviting package:

Basic FutureFund campaign page layout before additional elements are added

But you can also go much further here—adding visual media and more. Whether or not you use our platform, all your fundraising campaigns can benefit from including the following elements:

Images & Video

These visuals help bring your fundraiser to life and make it engaging. Strong visuals make it easier for potential donors to imagine the difference their contributions are making.

When you’re creating a campaign on FutureFund, you can upload two images:

  • A 400×400 product image that appears next to your campaign on your school’s online store.
  • A 1200×600 header image that functions as a banner for your campaign page.

You can also add video to your campaigns when you create them. Do this by:

  • Navigating to Store > Campaigns in the admin.
  • Clicking the Create Campaign button.
  • Scrolling to the Video section at the bottom of the Build Campaign screen.
  • Selecting your video provider (YouTube or Vimeo) from the drop-down menu and pasting in your Video ID.
Adding video to FutureFund campaign page in the admin

Accessibility Features

The easier you make it for people to view and interact with your campaign page, the more donations you’re likely to receive. FutureFund is designed to help your campaign pages accommodate as many users as possible, with accessibility features like:

  • Automatic translations for users whose first language is not English. 76% of people prefer to purchase products with information in their own language.
  • Visual elements like color contrast for users with impaired vision.
  • Support for assistive technology like screen readers for visually impaired users.
  • Keyboard navigation for users who may be unable to use a mouse.

Start Your Fundraiser With FutureFund

FutureFund is FREE for schools, PTAs, and school groups. Start your fundraiser today!

Get Started

Donation Guidelines

The more obstacles you remove for potential donors, the more likely they’ll be to follow through and donate. This means your donation pages need to lay out clear next steps and remove uncertainty.

FutureFund lets you customize the donation area in each fundraising campaign with features that seamlessly guide visitors towards completing transactions. These include:

  • Donation Options: Offering a variety of donation amounts helps guide people to the option they can support.
  • Suggested Amounts: Including a suggested amount helps prevent paralyzing donors with too many options and makes them less likely to choose smaller amounts when they can afford to give more.
  • Donation Goals: Setting goals helps unify the school community and encourages donor participation, as well as raising average donation amounts.
  • Installments: Letting donors break up large payments via monthly installments makes them more manageable and realistic.
  • Tax Deductible Receipts: FutureFund issues receipts for tax-deductible donations automatically. Highlighting this can incentivize donors.
  • Corporate Matching: FutureFund’s corporate matching database identifies donors with company-sponsored corporate matching programs.
  • Donor Wall: Adding a donor wall is a great way to acknowledge contributions to your fundraiser and encourage donors who are still on the fence to add their support.

Promoting Your Fundraiser with FutureFund

Getting shareable link and QR code for school fundraising campaign in FutureFund

Shareable Links

Once you’ve successfully built your school fundraiser, you can also use FutureFund to share and promote it. All campaigns designed with our platform come with shareable links that can be copied and pasted into emails, text messages, and social media posts to bring traffic to your donation page.

Creating new message using FutureFund's built-in messaging system

Messaging System

You can also use our built-in messaging system to announce campaigns, send regular updates, and thank donors. Use features like:

  • Custom sender profiles to match your branding and add a personal touch to messages
  • Audience filters to reach the right parents, volunteers, or community members
  • Email templates that can be saved and adjusted to save time in future campaigns

Complete Your School Fundraiser & Reach Your Goals

When you build a fundraising campaign with the right information and present it effectively, you encourage donors to participate and increase your chances of reaching your goals. Use the information above to make sure your fundraising campaigns are complete and compelling.

FutureFund makes it easy to build school fundraisers that include all of the elements above and inspire audiences to take action. Get started for free today and prepare to run your best fundraiser yet.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fundraising with FutureFund

What types of fundraisers can I run with FutureFund?

FutureFund’s custom campaigns fit a wide range of different fundraiser types, including:

  • Donation Campaigns: Collect contributions for classroom resources, field trips, and more with a shareable link that takes users directly to a donation page.
  • “A-Thon” Pledge Campaigns: Students who participate in Walk-A-Thons, Chess-A-Thons, and other event-specific fundraisers raise money from family, friends, and other supporters. Learn how to run different A-Thon fundraisers here.
  • Purchase Product Campaigns: Sell school spirit wear and other kinds of merchandise 24/7 through a fully customizable online store.
  • Ticketed Events: Sell tickets to fundraising events and redeem them seamlessly with the free FutureFund Turnstile app.
  • Membership Drives: Sell memberships online and upload all the forms your new recruits need to get started.

Does FutureFund automatically track donations to my fundraisers?

Yes—you’ll have the option to add a donation tracker to your campaign that tracks and displays your fundraising progress in real-time. This is a great way to show the school community how close you are to reaching your goals (or how much support you still need for an important project).

Does FutureFund help me report the results of my fundraisers?

FutureFund’s built-in financial reporting tools let you generate Campaign Summaries and other financial reports in just a few moments. This can help your school group stay compliant and save huge amounts of time for your PTA treasurer.

How is FutureFund free for schools?

FutureFund collects a small platform fee from each donor who pays through our site as a percentage of their contribution. This gives us the resources we need to keep updating our tools and providing support for the school groups we serve while allowing schools to collect 100% of all donations and sales.

Use FutureFund for Free

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What Your PTA Treasurer Report Should Include (& How to Format It)

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